Monday, April 15, 2024

Out & About With Some Mid-Month #RandomThoughts


It is "mid-month" as I continue to work away on projects and commitments.   I am grateful for the continued privilege to do my small part as a Global Citizen and in that spirit, I wanted to remember the 7 brave souls who paid the ultimate price for their selfless dedication to service as I look forward to doing my small part as a simple ordinary face in the crowd: 

“These are people I served alongside in Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco, The Bahamas, Indonesia, Mexico, Gaza, and Israel. They were far more than heroes,” said WCK founder and Chief Feeding Officer José Andrés. “Their work was based on the simple belief that food is a universal human right. It is not conditional on being good or bad, rich or poor, left or right. We do not ask what religion you belong to. We just ask how many meals you need.”
Read José’s opinion piece in the New York Times
WCK coordinated everything correctly with the IDF in advance. Despite that, our convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded hundreds of tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on our newly established maritime route from Cyprus. “This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said Erin Gore, CEO of WCK.
Read the full statement from World Central Kitchen
The IDF has acknowledged its responsibility and its fatal errors in the deadly attack on our convoy in Gaza. It is also taking disciplinary action against some of those in command and committed to other reforms. These are important steps forward. But without systemic change, there will be more military failures and more grieving families. In addition to the tens of thousands of Palestinians killed, nearly 200 humanitarian workers have lost their lives during this conflict. That is why World Central Kitchen is demanding the creation of an independent commission to investigate the killings of our WCK colleagues.

Read WCK’s statement about the IDF preliminary investigation

While we continue to demand full accountability for what happened to our team—our friends—we continue to mourn the loss of their incredible hearts and smiles. WCK’s leadership is in close contact with their families, and we are doing everything we can to support them in this unimaginable time. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for information about the WCK global community honoring the lives of these heroes and ways you can participate. In the coming days, we will be sharing heartfelt tributes to remember their vibrant lives and indelible impact on the world.

Images from vigils held in Poland and Paris.

Someday it will come. We know this. Every person who was born will die. Whether it’s soon or a long time from now, peaceful or violent, expected or not, we cannot know, all we know is that it will happen.

But everybody, including Marcus Aurelius, wonders what people will be saying, what it will mean for you to be leaving this world. We wonder about our legacy. We wonder how quickly we’ll be forgotten. In Meditations, Marcus speculated that despite the life he’d tried to live, the good he’d tried to do, there would still be people who were happy to see him go. No doubt, he wondered how he would be remembered, what his legacy would be. But he also wrote about how little this actually mattered, how it wasn’t in his control. Isn’t this also part of one of the most famous scenes in literature—where Huck Finn gets to sneak in to see his own funeral, eavesdropping on what everyone is saying about him, whether they’re grieving him or not?

Wanting to be remembered, to be loved, to be celebrated–it’s a timeless, powerful urge. Some argue that much of civilization, most of art, most of war, and success is in some way rooted in a denial of death, wanting to live forever, wanting to be talked about after we’re gone.

It’s funny that although Marcus tried to remind himself that posthumous fame was not worth much (he’d be dead), he still managed to find it. He is remembered. We are talking about him in today’s email–and although there were some people who were glad he was on his deathbed (and some people today don’t admire him), he did end up being remembered and is widely admired. The book he wrote, Meditations, wasn’t intended for publication…but it was and is selling like crazy (we even created our own leather edition here at Daily Stoic).

Maybe that is the ultimate lesson here. Don’t think about it. Don’t focus on fame or a monument to your success. Don’t try to make sure everyone knows how important or wonderful you are. Just try to be good. Focus on the day in front of you. Live it well, live it according to your values. Leave the legacy—whether it happens or not—for whatever happens or not.

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